Latin Name: Cornus alternifolia L.f.
General Description: The trunk of this small tree divides near the ground into several branches that spread horizontally in tiers and grow unevenly in length. The crown is made of several uneven spreading flattish sections which give the tree an irregular outline.
Leaves: Arranged alternately on the twigs, because of the shortness of the twigs, some leaves appear to be opposite, usually clustered at the ends of the branchlets; approximately 3.5 inches long to 2.24 inches wide, gradually narrowing to a long slender tip, dark green above, whitish underneath, slightly wavy along the margin, hairless.
Twigs: Shiny as though polished, greenish-red to dark reddish-brown, or dark purplish-red; buds small, pointed showing two or three brownish-red scales.
Fruit: Berry-like, round, 1/3 inches in diameter, dark blue or bluish-black, on red stems.
Flowers: small, white or cream-coloured, each flower is on a stalk and arranged in irregular rounded clusters that are flattened at the top, no whitish showy floral leaves encircle the cluster.
Sources used: Native Trees of Canada by R.C. Hosie (1980).